Josh Krevitt of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. HANDOUT.
Josh Krevitt of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher ()

A bold courtroom gamble paid off for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher when the firm’s intellectual property lawyers last year scored a resounding win for T-Mobile USA Inc. — one in a series of recent patent litigation victories for the 100-plus lawyer group.

T-Mobile was sued by RealTime Data LLC for infringement in the plaintiff-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The other defendants, including AT&T Inc. and Sprint Corp., settled, leaving T-Mobile on the hook for up to $256 million. Following a series of ominous pretrial rulings, T-Mobile tapped Gibson Dunn to take over just two months before trial (SNR Denton stayed on as co-counsel).

Six Gibson partners led by Josh Krevitt sprang into action. Their touchstone: “What’s going to resonate and sell? What’s persuasive? What will feel fundamentally correct to a jury?” Krevitt said.

Midway through trial, he took a chance. “We decided not to call our own expert on noninfringement,” Krevitt said. He’d already strongly cross-examined RealTime’s expert. “We did not want it to be a battle of experts.” He saw another benefit to the tactic: “It throws off the other side.” He took the same tack when it came time to argue damages, sidelining T-Mobile’s damages expert. “It was a little scary — we were out on some ledges,” Krevitt said.

But the goal was to “keep it simple,” and the strategy worked. After two hours of deliberation, the jury ruled that T-Mobile had not infringed any of RealTime’s 11 patent claims, and moreover that the patents themselves were invalid. The judge also ordered RealTime to pay T-Mobile’s costs. RealTime, represented by Cooley, filed a notice of appeal but dropped it as part of a larger deal with T-Mobile.

Gibson Dunn lawyers are also lead counsel for CLS Bank International in a software patent dispute with Alice Corp. now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.


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